Daughter ‘stole’ obituary for 104-year-old

If the obituary scandal out of Richmond isn’t a sign of the times, I really don’t know what is.

This morning, you’ll recall, I posted the obituary of Dorothy McElhaney, the 104 year old woman who wrote her own obituary and told a lovely story about her life growing up in the Midwest.

Dorothy did a lot of things in her life, but writing her own obituary isn’t one of them.

Her daughter acknowledges to the the Richmond Times-Dispatch this afternoon that she grabbed the obit of a Florida woman and replaced a few things.

“This has turned into quite a firestorm, one that I had not anticipated,” Glenna Kramer said.

Dorothy’s final life story was actually based on Emily DeBrayda Phillips, whose obituary I also posted here in April.

The theft actually pleases the family of Phillips.

“This is kind of strange, but sweet in a way,” Bonnie Upright, her daughter, said. “If my mom’s words made an impact to a stranger’s family in a positive way, and they chose to use it, then that’s, I think, a great honor to my mother. I just would like my mother to be remembered for those words.”

But the tragedy is we don’t really know who Dorothy was, except she was the mother of a woman who had a lifetime to compose a tribute to her mother, and grabbed someone else’s instead.

(h/t: Matt Thueson)